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He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jan
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
from Film Forum, 03/06/03Amélie star impresses critics again

Audrey Tautou, who charmed audiences in the fantastical romantic comedy Amélie, is back in another unusual French concoction. In writer/director Laetitia Colombani's new film He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (Goldwyn), Tautou plays an art student named Angelique. Angelique's interests reach beyond her painting—she has a crush on Dr. Loic (Samuel Le Bihan), a married cardiologist. In spite of the efforts of an admirer (Clement Sibony) to dissuade her, Angelique stokes the fires of her dream by convincing herself that the marriage will fall apart. When it does not, her passion leads to dismaying extremes. Sound like a routine story of jealousy and unrequited love? Hardly. Just when you think you know where things are going, the 26-year-old Colombani casts the story in a whole new light, confounding all expectations.

Geri Pare (Catholic News Service) is impressed: "Although neither Angelique nor Loic is particularly sympathetic, the filmmaker manages to hold interest for the most part with the way the script twists and turns in the second half. And although there is violent content, it doesn't sink to the level of over-the-top melodrama. Instead, in somewhat the manner of The Sixth Sense, viewers will find themselves reviewing the first half in their minds as they leave the theatre, which makes it an intriguing thriller overall."

Darrell Manson (Hollywood Jesus) calls it "a wonderful story. Tautou does a wonderful job in this role. She once again shows the endearing vulnerability that characterized Amélie, but here she also shows a darker side with just as much authenticity." He concludes, "He Loves Me … challenges us to look deeper before we judge someone else. As we watch the film, we make our judgments about this poor, lovelorn artist and the caddish doctor … only to have to rethink our perspectives and opinions."

Several mainstream critics heap superlatives on the film. James Berardinelli (ReelViews) raves, "It's difficult to overstate how much of a rare find this movie is. Colombani and her cast remind us that the best thrillers are built upon superb writing and strong acting." And Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle) says, Colombani's first time in the director's chair "represents about as assured a debut as they come."